The Klans' Informant
By Alex OConnor
12th September 1984
He took a long pull of his cigarette,
closing his eyes as the fumes clouded his lungs. He became acquaint with the
newly developed, crippling cough that accompanied each pull. An effort was made
to hold it in if he was in the company of someone, but recently, as hard as he
tried to refrain, the rasp feeling that gripped his throat would inevitably
ending in a blustering bark. If it kills me, so be it, he would preach
to his wife. We all die somehow. He flicked the butt onto the ground and
sat back on the bonnet of his car. It sat alone on a dim street lit only
vaguely by distant, flickering streetlamps. The radio ran faintly from the
interior – Fade to Black by Metallica. He had been watching the house
from a distance for almost 90 minutes. Not knowing if it was the creeping
tiredness or the toxic smoke that had his eyes squinting, his watch read 22:04.
Pulling out a wrinkled strip of paper, he punched the scribbled digits into his
phone. His hand barely had the time to reach his ear before he heard a muffled
voice on the other side.
“Any sign?” The voice said. Never a
greeting. Just business, strictly business.
“No. I’ve got 3 more possible locations,
but they can wait until tomo…”
“No. He must be located, tonight.” The
voice snapped back. The voice was the authority, and he was merely a pawn. He
is never the pawn, he thought, he is the fucking king. Always.
As he sat on the hood, staring aimlessly
into the night sky. He hated the city, how the lights from the neon skyline
obscured the view of the stars. You’d have to drive ten lousy miles from this
dump, just for a cigarette under the stars.
“Do you hear me, Anthony?”
Before he could conjure a hopelessly
indigenous reply, which likely would have failed miserably, movement caught his
eye on the opposite side of the road.
“I see him”. Rummaging through his jacket
pocket, he felt for the photo he had been given to help him identify the
target. He pulled it out and squinted. Bald, scruffy beard, leather tan skin
and a bulbous stomach that just screamed “There’s no sugar in Diet, asshole”. Tick, tick, tick, and tick. This was him. Anthony’s expressionless
gaze watched as the banker exited his car and entered through his front door.
The house, which stood in darkness, suddenly lit up with a homely yellow glow.
“Confirmed, he lives at 132 Lampton
Boulevard. You’re welcome”, Anthony said as he continued his aimless glare.
“Great work. We knew you would find him.
Tomorrow night, you know the place. And don’t forget to bri…” Anthony snapped
the phone down and cut him off. He refused to be subject to such patronization,
they talked to him like he was a child. And do not forget, he repeated.
As if he ever forgot anything, they told him, or anyone told him. He was not on
the job to make friends; he was there to play his part and leave. According to his
wife Sarah, he was attending a job interview. So, if he hadn’t returned to his
mundane country home by Friday morning, questions would be asked.
From the car, Metallica sang; Growing
darkness taking dawn, I was me but now, he’s gone.
He snapped out of his gaze. A drink, he
thought, would go down without a fight. The car sprung up as he slid off the
bonnet. He got in, turned the keys and chugged along down the road.